Squid Fry for Jul 08, 2010
Thursday, July 8, 2010
BAIT AND SWITCH… Fishermen are still pissy with the Monterey Bay Aquarium and its friends, judging by an e-mail urging Squid to join a boycott of Hewlett-Packard products. “[Aquarium CEO] Julie Packard uses millions to put all fishermen out of business!” it reads. “Do not… support this WITCH and her company!” The e-mailer, apparently an East Coast fisherman, then got literal with a public smashing of HP products.
Seafood Watch leader Mike Sutton reminds Squid that the Packard Foundation, a strong supporter of the Aquarium and other ocean conservation orgs, is no longer a big HP shareholder and has few remaining ties with the tech company. Plus, the Foundation funds several fishing groups that commit to doing it sustainably. “The foundation has nothing against fishing,” he says. “Their work is pro-ocean.”
But Royal Seafoods’ Jiri Nozicka, an organizer with People United for American Commercial Fisheries, sees the HP boycott as “kind of a desperation call” by fishermen who have been upset with the Packards for a long time. He says the Seafood Watch card forces partnering local restaurants not to buy local fish, like Royal’s trawled catch. That hits home for Squid, whose three hearts beat tenderly for both sustainable and local seafood – a pairing that’s disappointingly hard to find in this town.
Call Squid an idealist, but Squid would love to see the Aquarium and the fishermen of Wharf II forge a truce that ensures Monterey Bay seafood is caught in a way that keeps stocks thriving, yet also brings more green-listed local catch to area restaurants. Call it a fin-win.
WAILING WAL-MART… Hey, Squid is as sympathetic as the next cephalopod to the continuing economic woes in Salinas. The city’s budget masters may be calling their cutbacks “the new normal,” but Squid somehow doubts that that’s the way it feels for the city employees whose jobs are getting eliminated. Still and all, Squid finds it hard to muster to much sympathy for the hearty welcome being given to the new Walmart, which opened on Harden Road on Wednesday.” Although Mayor Dennis Donohue calls the advent of the shopping monolith “a sign of renewal,” Squid remains dubious, given the company’s rep for driving out smaller competitors. Walmart is offering an unspecified $10,000 in grants from the Walmart Foundation, with $4,000 going to the Central Coast YMCA, the foundation for the Monterey County Library, Future Citizens Foundation – First Tee of Monterey County and Monterey County Police Activites. Somehow, Squid thinks the chain can afford it.